Springfield Armory National Historic Site Planning Activities For Winter School Break

Consider sending your kids to Springfield Armory National Historic Site for winter break. NPS photo.

With winter breaks arriving for many school systems in February, it's not too early to begin mapping out ways to keep your kids occupied. If you live in Massachusetts or nearby, one solution is to head to Springfield Armory National Historic Site.

From February 18th through the 25th the armory will offer numerous indoor and outdoor activities for individuals and small groups each day. All activities are free, and each participant will receive a gift.

This year, young people can self-select from ten brand new activities that include a firearms scavenger hunt through the indoor exhibits. Outdoor tours will challenge the adventurer to uncover hidden meanings behind markings and design features of the Armory buildings. By completing a series of educational and fun steps, children can earn badges as Junior Rangers.

Civil War and Park Ranger costumes may be worn to put youth “in character” as actual soldiers and rangers. Children particularly enjoy posing as Park Rangers, according to park officials. Photographs are then taken for the child to keep.

February vacation week falls during the observance of George Washington’s birthday on February 22nd. According to Joanne Gangi-Wellman, Visitor Services supervisory park ranger, “It is a nice coincidence that the Springfield Armory’s founder was George Washington. In 1794, he selected this beautiful and large site on the hill as the first military arsenal in the United States.”

Families can also choose from activities offered year round - an orientation film, an outdoor walking tour of the buildings and grounds, and an afternoon museum tour.

The Springfield Armory National Historic Site is the location of the nation’s first armory (1794 – 1968) and was established by George Washington. The site includes historic grounds, buildings, and the world’s largest historic American military firearms collection. The park is open daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. There is ample parking and the building is wheelchair accessible.

For further information and weather cancelation call 413-734-8551 or check the website at www.nps.gov/spar